Prior to founding Smith & Gilstrap, Judge Gilstrap was an associate at the law firm of Abney, Baldwin & Searcy from 1981 to 1984. was named as the founding Dean of the UNT Dallas College of Law in January 2012. District Judge in the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division.He assumed his position as Dean in mid-year 2013 after retiring from the federal district bench. Prior to taking Senior Status, he served in the El Paso, Midland, and San Antonio Divisions of the Western District of Texas. Following a tour in Vietnam, he returned to Lubbock as law clerk to the Honorable Halbert O. Before taking the bench, he was a practicing lawyer for twenty-four years with the Kemp Smith firm in El Paso, Texas.
He has also served as chair of the Judicial Resources Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States. Judge Kinkeade earned his undergraduate degree and his law degree from Baylor University.
He also earned a Juris Doctor from Baylor University School of Law in 1981, where he was associate editor of the Baylor Law Review.
He later served as president of the Baylor Law Alumni Association.
He has co-authored two books, Kinkeade & Mc Colloch’s Texas Penal Code Annotated and A Practical Guide to Texas Evidence: Objections, Responses, Rules and Practice Commentary, and numerous law review articles.
In 2004, Texas Wesleyan University awarded Judge Kinkeade an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree, and that same year, Dallas Baptist University awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree.